While I was away in Myanmar I came across an article about an unfortunate reason a passenger was kicked off of a flight.
When I first read the title, I definitely felt bad for the passenger. However, after reading the article I wasn’t sure if I would side with the passenger or the airline.
So why was this passenger kicked off? She didn’t threaten, hit or assault anyone. She also didn’t throw a fit over nuts. The problem was that the airline said the passenger needed a doctor’s note to fly since she was waiting in the disabled section. When asked if she might need help, at first she said no but then said she might need help if she gets weak.
Elizabeth Sedway suffers from multiple myeloma cancer and was supposed to fly to San Jose from Hawaii when this unfortunate incident took place. According to the Huffington Post, “an airline worker insisted that she needed a doctor’s note to fly“.
Due to missing the flight, Sedway ended up missing her chemo appointment.
Sedway wrote on Facebook,”Because I said the word weak, the Alaska Airlines employee called a doctor she claimed was associated with the airlines,”. “After we board the plane. An Alaska representative boarded the plane, and told us I could not fly without a note from a doctor stating that I was cleared to fly.”
Sedway e-mailed her doctor while this situation was taking place and said that if she felt fine then she should be able to fly. However, since he didn’t specifically say she was cleared, she got removed.
The airline apologized, saying “We regret the inconvenience Ms. Sedway experienced yesterday and are very sorry for how the situation was handled. Her family’s tickets have been refunded and we will cover the cost of her family’s overnight accommodations in Lihue. While our employee had the customer’s well-being in mind, the situation could have been handled differently.”
Sedway wrote on Facebook that she would be donating the refund.
I just wonder, was Alaska Air doing the right thing and really looking out for the passenger’s well-being by taking her off of the flight? Should Sedway have had or did she really need a doctor’s note to fly? I’m not sure that there is a right or wrong answer related to what happened…
Find out more about the story from the Huffington Post here.